GSMA announces innovation fund to anticipate and improve responses to humanitarian crises

Source(s): GSMA Mobile for Development
Mozambique Red Cross early warning drill
Damien Schumann/IFRC

NGOs, INGOs, humanitarian agencies, start-ups, SMEs and social enterprises with digital solutions that enable early action in humanitarian crises situations are invited to apply.

Organisations with mobile and digital solutions which anticipate and enable early emergency responses to humanitarian crises can now apply for the GSMA Innovation Fund for Anticipatory Humanitarian Action.

This initiative, funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, will test innovative use-cases, partnerships and business models to improve access to digital-enabled solutions for those vulnerable to, and impacted by, humanitarian crises. The Fund will also generate evidence and insights from these innovations, enabling more effective early responses. With grants of up to £250,000, the Fund will support digital innovation projects that leverage mobile technology and help scale solutions together with the mobile industry, supporting some of the 300 million people globally in need of humanitarian assistance and protection.

“As the number of people requiring humanitarian assistance continues to rise, it is more important than ever to act early. Innovative mobile-enabled solutions to anticipate extreme events can contribute to making responses timely, effective and cost-efficient.” Says Max Cuvellier, Head of Mobile for Development, GSMA. “In this context, we are proud to announce the launch of the GSMA Innovation Fund for Anticipatory Humanitarian Action, in partnership with the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). The Fund’s ambition is to support digital innovation and collaboration in anticipatory action from organisations operating in a wide range of settings.”

The GSMA Innovation Fund for Anticipatory Humanitarian Action builds on the success of previous rounds of the GSMA Innovation Fund such as the Innovation Fund for Climate Resilience and Adaptation.

Chris Porter, Humanitarian Head of Profession, UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office said: “We are pleased to support the investment in digital technology that will enable anticipatory humanitarian action. The UK is committed to supporting mechanisms to better manage and anticipate humanitarian emergencies. Acting early can prevent loss of life, protect the safety and dignity of people affected, and prioritise those most in need. Our partnership with the GSMA’s Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation Programme helps put our commitments, including in the UK’s International Development Strategy and those with our fellow G7 members, into action.”

The GSMA is inviting applications from non-profits, start-ups, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and social enterprises which use digital technology, particularly mobile, to deliver solutions to countries which have faced, or are more likely to face, natural hazard disasters and other humanitarian crises. It is expecting to see applications which encompass a diverse range of solutions, including those which support pre-positioning and early deployment activities, the dissemination of early warning messages, and systems that will enhance communication between organisations and affected communities.

The applications process opens today and will remain open until the 19th January 2023.

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